Biggin Hill History – 1905
Within 10 years of land being available for sale, the popularity of Biggin Hill had grown. The tea and refreshment rooms were a regular haunt of cyclists from nearby West Wickham, Hayes and Keston. The bicycles would be left at the refreshment rooms while they went for walks, Blackberry and Sloe picking. Afternoon tea would be taken on returning and then it would be a pleasant cycle down the hills back home.
Mr Jesse Terry is listed in Kelley’s directory for 1905 as a “land agent”. He was appointed by Mr. Dougal as the official manager and estate agent.
Mrs Harriet Chitty is listed as a shopkeeper, selling all kinds of goods for the locals who were mainly farmers and fruit growers. Mrs Chitty started her business in 1897 at ‘Rose Cottage’, Main Road and was one of the first general stores to open in Biggin hill. Biggin Hill stores continued training until the 1950’s. A picture and bill – head of the stores is shown below.
Mr Edward David Abraham sold Groceries and material at the Post Office. The locals would not have had high incomes and would probably therefore make their own cloths and bake their own bread.
The Maps of 1909 show how the land was divided and numbered and how much Biggin Hill had developed since the earlier maps of 1868.
Another important store in Biggin Hill was Temple’s store. Mr. Thomas Temple opened his first store in about 1908. This store was made from sheds and tents and was situated at the corner of Polesteeple Hill and Stock Hill. A small car park is now on this site. Within a short time temples had moved up the hill to the corner of Hillcrest Road and Polesteeple Hill, which has since been named Temple Road. Temples were to stay in business until the 1960’s when the shop and family home next door were knocked down to make way for housing development. Temples had a claim to “supply your every want”. If they did not have the goods in stock, the were obtained in a short time.
Temples would probably have served people at the northern end of Biggin Hill, Whereas the people living towards the southern end would have had Hall’s Store at Westerham Hill to shop at.